Alumni News

Jamie K.A. Smith

Jamie K. A. Smith

James K.A. Smith arrived at Villanova University in 1995 for the doctoral program in philosophy. Working under the guidance of John Caputo, he graduated with his PhD in 1999 and moved to his first tenure-track job at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. In 2002 he moved to Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI where he now is professor of philosophy and holds an endowed chair. In the first half of his career he specialized in phenomenology, including a translation of Catholic philosopher Jean-Luc Marion’s book on art, The Crossing of the Visible. But over the past 10 years Smith’s work has focused on “translating” philosophical concepts for broader audiences, including award-winning books such as How (Not) To Be Secular and You Are What You Love (which has sold over 100,000 copies). His public commentary has also appeared in periodicals such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

Smith’s most recent book, On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-world Spirituality for Restless Hearts, is deeply indebted to his time at Villanova. “One of the great gifts I received from the Augustinian community at Villanova,” Smith attests, “was an appreciation for what I call ‘the whole Augustine.’ Philosophers have a tendency to ‘anthologize’ Augustine—to pick and choose from his published corpus. But at Villanova I learned that one couldn’t possibly understand Augustine without reading his letters and sermons. That insight is a big part of this new book.”

and here is his new book

as well as the Publisher’s Weekly review  

Ted George

Dr. Theodore George

Ted George edits the scholarly journal, Epoché: a journal for the history of philosophy, recently published a special issue, “Idioms of Ethical Life: Essays Honoring the Work of Dennis J. Schmidt,” guest editors Nancy Tuana and Charles Scott (Vol. 22, No. 1, Fall 2017). Contributors included Villanova University Ph.D. program graduate Dr. Shannon Mussett.

Ted was also invited to present the article version of the Andre Schuwer Lecture at the 2016 meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, entitled, “Are We A Conversation? Hermeneutics, Exteriority, Transmutability,” has recently appeared in Research and Phenomenology (Vol. 47, No. 1, 2017).

In Ted's capacity as an honorary faculty member at the University of Western Sydney, he recently delivered a presentation at the second annual meeting of the College of Fellows, Philosophy Research Initiative, November 2017.

Ted has recently joined the advisory board of the journal Applied Hermeneutics and has also joined the advisory board of the North American Society for Philosophical Hermeneutics after completing a term as President of the organization.

He has also been invited to act as a Visiting Scholar to lead the tenth annual meeting of the Canadian Institute of Hermeneutics, University of Calgary, Canada, in June of 2018.

Ted continues to enjoy his role as Head of the Department of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. 

Joshua Nunziato

Dr. Joshua Nunziato

Joshua finished his PhD in philosophy at Villanova in 2016. His research was on recovering ancient wisdom for contemporary business culture. His first book, The Work of Parting: Augustine's Sacrificial Economy, is currently under peer-review at a major university press. In 2017, he founded Centripetal, a coaching and leadership development firm that helps entrepreneurs foster deep inner lives for more fruitful company cultures. Joshua is currently working on a second book called Culture Within: Entrepreneurship as Spiritual Formation. He and his family live in Denver, CO.

Darin Gates

Dr. Darin Gates

recently published a chapter in the Routledge Companion to Business Ethics

Dana Belu

Dr. Dana Belu

recently published her new book titled, Heidegger, Reproductive Technology & The Motherless Age. (Palgrave Macmillan, April 2017).

and “The Question Concerning a Vital Technology: Heidegger’s Influence on Andrew Feenberg’s Critical Theory” in Theory & Praxis: Andrew Feenberg & Critical Theory, eds. D. Arnold & A. Michel. (Palgrave Macmillan, November, 2017).

In addition to, “On the Harnessing of Birth in The Technical Age” in Spaces for the Future: A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology, eds. J. Pitt & A. Shew. Routledge Press. (Routledge Press, August 2017).

and Dr. Belu has a new book on the horizon as well, "Human Resources in the Age of Reproductive Technology" in Renewable Technologies (ed. Roisin Lally) in the The Post-phenomenology and Philosophy of Technology Series. (Lexington Books. Forthcoming in 2019).

Terry Maksymowych

Dr. Terry Maksymowych

Springer is publishing Global Education in Bioethics, a book in their Advancing Global Bioethics series. The book is composed of three parts. The first addresses the theoretical background of globalization and its implications for ethics education. The second part examines the goals of global ethics education, as well as the challenges that are presented in various cultural, social and political contexts and economic inequalities. The third part presents and analyzes various examples, methods, and practices of global ethics education.

Terry's chapter, “To See Differently: Incorporating the Arts Into Bioethics Education,” argues that the arts have the power to startle, to challenge beliefs, to invite people to see the world through others’ eyes. In our culture, the arts are often relegated to the province of entertainment, but they can be powerful teaching tools, particularly in a field of study in which empathy is highly valued. Every culture has stories, art, music and dance, and these can be used to speak to students in introductory or advanced bioethics courses. The chapter focuses on the methodology of incorporating the arts into bioethics classrooms, using examples from various cultural traditions.

Christopher Davidson

Dr. Christopher Davidson

In the last year, Chris published: “A Spinozist Aesthetics of Affects and Its Political Implications.” In The Concept of Affectivity in Early Modern Philosophy, edited by Gàbor Boros, Judit Szalai, and Olivér István Tóth. Budapest: Eötvös Loránd University Press (2017), 185-206.

A little further back, he co-edited a book which came out at the end of 2016: New Philosophies of Sex and Love: Thinking through Desire, on Roman & Littlefield International. My co-editors were Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline Lundquist.

In the last year, Chris presented on these topics:

Author Meets Critics, on New Philosophies of Sex and Love: Thinking through Desire, Invited Talk, American Philosophical Association, Central Division, 2018.

“Discipline and Educate: Ethical Government of Self and Others from Descartes to Kant,” Invited Talk, Seminar for Work in Progress, Macquarie University, 2017.

“Music, Melancholia, and the Artistic Production of Disobedience: A Spinozist Aesthetics,” The Arts of Spinoza + Pacific Spinoza, University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology, 2017.

“The Use of Insult: Foucauldian Parrhesia (Frank Speech) in Ancient Ethics,” 49th Meeting of the North Texas Philosophical Association, University of Dallas, 2017.


Dr. John Garner

Dr. John V. Garner graduated from Villanova in 2014 and is currently an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of West Georgia, near Atlanta. In 2017 he published a book on Plato's conception of the good life, The Emerging Good in Plato's Philebus (Northwestern University Press). The book argues, most centrally, that the "pleasures of learning" exemplify for Socrates the possibility of intrinsically good becoming or change. Other recent publications have focused on the reception of Plato's arithmetic in figures as distinct as Proclus and Gadamer. In 2017 he also co-founded the Georgia Ancient Philosophy Seminar and gave talks for "The Other Night School," both of which are regional forums promoting public inquiry. In 2018 he will be translating French philosophy, improving in German for future projects, and teaching a capstone course on political violence. A recent APA spotlight summarizes some of his broader interests.


Alexi Kukuljevic

Dr. Alexi Kukuljevic

Dr. Alexi Kukuljevic graduated from Villanova University with his Ph.D. in 2009 and he now resides in Vienna.  He is an artist and Lecturer in Art Theory at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.  His book titled, Liquidation World: On the Art of Living Absently is scheduled to be released in September of 2017.  The information regarding his book is here

Michael Andrews

Dr. Michael Andrews

Dr. Michael Andrews was a Villanova University Ph.D. graduate in 2002, on July 1st, 2017 Andrews has accepted a position as the Director of the John Felice Rome Center, a campus of Loyola University Chicago located in Rome, Italy.  As Director of Loyola's Rome Center, Dr. Andrews will be responsible for overseeing the academic curricular, residential, financial and student life aspects of the program.  He will lead one of the oldest and most successful study abroad academic programs in Western Europe.  Previously, he was the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Portland. You can read more here
Kudos to Dr. Andrews on his accomplishment!  

Ryan Feigenbaum

Dr. Ryan Feigenbaum

Ryan Feigenbaum is an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at The New York Botanical Garden’s Humanities Institute, Ryan Feigenbaum created and developed the digital exhibition, “Poetic-Botany: Art and Science of the Eighteenth-Century Vegetable World.” Poetic Botany identifies an eighteenth-century movement in which botany became the subject of poetry. Erasmus Darwin (grandfather to Charles) inaugurated this movement with the publication of The Botanic Garden (1791), a scientific poem that personifies Linnaean botany. The digital exhibition brings together this historical text as well as a wide range of other resources in the form of illustrations, photographs, videos, texts, and more to provide an experience not possible in a traditional museum setting. Visitors can view not only a variety of materials that no single collection could ever hope to contain, but can also peruse these materials at their leisure, at any time or place. Organized around nine different plant species, the exhibition shows that plants, like humans, are agents of historical change.

Visit the exhibition here:

Read an interview about the exhibition’s creation.

Morey Williams

Dr. Morey Williams

Morey Williams has a blog entitled, “Immigration Detention and the Threat of ‘The American dream,’” Williams highlights the key role that immigration detention plays within the prison military industrial complex as it surfaces in the United States of America. Williams then gestures toward a phenomenological response to the practice of immigration detention, employing the voices of Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Lisa Guenther, Orlando Patterson, and the first-hand accounts of detained persons themselves.

You can read the full article here blog

Ian Maley

Dr. Ian Maley

Ian Maley graduated Villanova University with his PhD in March of 2017.  In addition, he also produced a poetry reading for legendary Farimont Native poet Marty Watt on Sunday, March 19th, 2017 at PhilaMOCA, Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art in Center City Philadelphia,
The Philly Inquirer kindly featured a story regarding the poety reading by Marty Watt that Dr. Ian Maley organized with friends at PhilaMOCA.  Here is the full article!
Ian teaches one of Watt's recent poems, entitled “I Came In Spacewise to the Moment,” in the course titled, "Knowledge, Reality, Self" PHI-1000 class during the Descartes unit.  Part of Descartes’ project is to give a rational account himself and Ian uses Watt’s poems to help think about what a rational account of oneself is and what historically philosophers have considered irrational accounts or thoughts of oneself.  Watt’s poem describes his birth as an event in the universe.  Ian uses the poem to help students understand how to think about texts in philosophical ways, understand the limits of Western philosophy and expose them to ideas and works of art that they would not otherwise encounter.  

John Patrick-Schultz

Dr. John-Patrick Schultz

Dr. John-Patrick Schultz graduated Villanova University in 2014 and was an adjunct in the Ethics department at Viillanova University as well.  Dr. Schultz began a full time position at Pierce College in February 2017.  His dissertation focused on revolutionary temporality with reference to Marx, Bloch, and Benjamin. He specializes in social and political philosophy, critical theory, and 19th and 20th century German philosophy. He has published several articles and received several awards, including the Harvey Teaching Award and the Assistantship for Interdisciplinary Study in Philosophy and Theology.  He is noted in the American Philosophical Association blog here.


Dr. John Whitmire

Dr. John Whitmire graduated Villanova University in 2005 and is now Associate Professor and Department Head in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Western Carolina University. In April 2016, he won WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award. In keeping with WCU’s tradition, he was given the award as a surprise during one of his classes. Congratulations, John! In addition, in December 2017 John completed a five year term as department chair.  In addition, on May 11th, 2019, the "Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching" award will be presented to Dr. Whitmire.   


Dr. Adriel Trott

Dr. Adriel M. Trott is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. She graduated from Villanova University in 2008.  She works on ancient Greek and contemporary European philosophy inflected by social and political concerns. She is particularly interested in the concept of nature and how historically nature has been thought in relation to reason, convention and artifice.  Dr. Trott thinks the way nature has been understood in relation to its apparent opposite has led to conceptions of community that require a founding exclusion. She is interested in rethinking that relation to develop new ways of conceiving community. You could say that she cares about the ontology of politics.  Therefore, she recently published a book titled, Aristotle, on the Nature of Community.  

Trott blogs at and you can follow her on
twitter @adrieltrott

two graduate students talking

Join us for our Fall Open House on Tuesday, October 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. Register today!

Philosophy Doctoral Program


Villanova University, SAC 108
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.8997
Fax: 610.519.4639

Director:  Julie Klein
Coordinator:  Terry DiMartino